Clean energy may be the most talked about phrase at the third International CEO Roundtable of Chinese and Foreign Multinational Corporations. The roundtable is an annual event for business leaders to sit down and come up with solutions to economic issues.
In China, clean energy is not merely a catchword. Instead, it has become a real approach to cutting emissions and making China greener as more and more people have realized the gravity of global warming.
"Environmental issues are more important than the financial crisis," said vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the 10th National People's Congress, China's top legislature, Cheng Siwei. "Climate change is concerned with human being’s living and development."
"To develop clean energy is the fundamental way for the future. It will reduce China's dependence on oil and becomes a new engine for economic growth," Cheng added.
A subsidized green market is taking shape and creating substantial opportunities for clean energy companies in China.
According to a September report by the United Nations Environment Program, China has invested 34 percent of its economic stimulus package into green projects.
Strong government support for clean energy has translated into concrete results: Chinese companies have been able to cut the price of solar panels in half, and China is planning to build the world’s largest solar energy manufacturing base in Inner Mongolia.
The China Greentech Initiative, a collaboration of some of the world's best green technology companies, issues what’s called the China Greentech Report. The report notes that the potential market size for green technology in China is estimated between $500 billion and $1 trillion.
China leads the world's 20 largest economies in making its commitment to the Kyoto Protocol, which will expire in 2012.
"It will be a great triumph, if members can reach a substitute agreement to the Kyoto Protocol at a December meeting in Copenhagen, and that will encourage more business interest in green energy and green technology," said Cheng.
"Copenhagen meeting is not only about earth, but also about the future market system. The world needs an agreement in which each country will increase green investment that will lead us to a sustainable development," said George Kell, executive director of UN Global Compact Office.